Oral Appliance Therapy
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious health disorder, where breathing is interrupted during sleep at night. The most common way of treating this is the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. However, there is an alternative to this treatment, which is known as oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is a type of treatment for patients who struggle with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) and snoring.
HomeTown Dental, Fort Worth (Sycamore) provides this option for patients who may not be candidates for a CPAP machine.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is a type of treatment that helps to make sure you breathe freely in your sleep by keeping your airway open. It is a removable appliance that you wear in your mouth while you sleep. It looks like both a mouthguard (because you fit it on your teeth) and also a retainer (as it holds your mouth in a precise position). When worn, it brings your jaw a little forward and lower than normal to help make sure your airway stays free.
In order to work properly, an oral appliance does need to be custom made for patients. We do not suggest that you obtain an oral appliance over the counter. Instead, we can help you decide if an oral appliance is the best option for you. We will first perform a sleep study to help determine if you have apnea, then we will fit you with a custom-made appliance.
Kinds of Oral Appliances
There are many options available when it comes to oral appliance therapy. These devices look quite different from each other, but they are similar in function. There are two more popular types of devices, which include either a mandibular repositioning device or tongue retaining device. Mandibular repositioning devices look like the mouthguards used in sports. It specifically changes the position of your bottom jaw to hold your airway open. Tongue retaining devices are splints that work by repositioning your tongue in order to help keep your airway open.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
This therapy brings as many benefits as the CPAP device. Treating snoring will help you and your bed partner sleep better. Treating your apnea with oral appliances also helps ensure a lowered risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It also helps with mood problems, as you are more likely to get a better quality of sleep at night.
Oral appliances are easy to wear and use. In just a couple of weeks, most patients can adapt to sleeping with an oral appliance in their mouth. Since it is a small device, portability is not a problem. You can travel easily with your oral appliance. It can also be less expensive than a CPAP machine.
Are There Side Effects to Oral Appliance Therapy?
Understanding that this therapy might not be for everyone, oral appliances may come with side effects. They may be recurrent, but they are minor. Side effects may include dry mouth or excessive salivation. You may also feel some discomfort in your jaw or teeth region. Your bite pattern may also change. If you are prescribed an oral appliance, you should always have a follow-up check with us to determine if there is a need for an adjustment or replacement.
Oral appliances can be a lot more convenient than a CPAP machine. If you are considering oral appliance therapy, we here at HomeTown Dental, Fort Worth (Sycamore) are more than happy to discuss it with you further. To learn more, please call us at (682) 204-5777 today.
HomeTown Dental, Fort Worth (Sycamore)
3515 Sycamore School Rd, Suite 170
Fort Worth, TX 76133
O: (682) 204-5777